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Associated Sites => Reality-on-the-Norm => Topic started by: DeviantGent on 01 Mar 2009, 20:19

Title: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 01 Mar 2009, 20:19
It was mentioned in a previous thread that a very good way to help newcomers get up to speed on The Story so Far would be have some kind of recap, allowing significant story events and character developments to be handily summarised outside of the games themselves. Based on some of the key postings, here are some possible ideas that could be worth looking into further:

- Text based recap - This was actually started a while back by Creed Malay as A Brief History of RON (http://www.realityonthenorm.info/fiction/history.html). Could be very handy if it were continued, albiet focusing on the 'Canon' games. It would also be very quick and easy to add to, seeing as each game could be condensed into a couple of paragraphs worth?

- Game based recap - A suggestion from another topic, this would be an interactive primer, featuring many of the RON characters and locations. This would be a slightly more engaging experience visually than the text based recap, and would be very handy in terms of showing off the newest backgrounds/sprites and nailing down a consistent map.

- Movie based recap - A collection of scenes from the games, compiled together in the style of a 'Previously on' sequence from television dramas. They can either be straight rips from the games or redone scenes with the newest backgrounds/sprites.

Possible factors when considering the above:
- Time it would take to make.
- Effectiveness as a recap.
- The ability to keep it up to date.
- General presentation/interest/ability to engage.

Thoughts? One of these? All of these? A combination ie a game that occasionally features redone cutscenes? None at all, something different?
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: The Suitor on 01 Mar 2009, 23:31
IMO The game based recap would be the best choice if it didn't contain any puzzles (more like an interactive movie)... So a combo of the last two? I think the text based recap should still be done no matter what.

I only say this because, Alot of the old ron games hardly (if at all) work on my newer PC, and it might be good for people, who can't play the old games, to get the feel of the ron world, and it's history in a visual/interactive sense with the new more compatible AGS engine.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 09 Mar 2009, 22:10
Gonna start throwing together something this week. Think I'll start with backgrounds, utilising the most up to date of each one. It'll be quite basic to start with, but even just stringing together all of the backgrounds as interactive rooms is a good foundation.

I'll see if I can do all of the Town Square and contents of the buildings, since that's effectivly one 'area'.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: RickJ on 10 Mar 2009, 03:02
Maybe this thing should be in the form of an interactive tour.   For example, Davy could be the main player tour guide.   Click on Scids and he says "Thats Scids an infamous establishment of adult beverages, town gossip, etc...  Come on in and I'll introduce you to Scid and some of the regulars".   

I think this format works as an overview, a brochure, and/or a sales pitch that would introduce a new comer to RON and generate interest.  However, I don't think it would be very useful to someone who is developing a RON game.  A developer would need and want a hyper-linked compendium.   I guess that's what is intended for the wiki. 

I hope that the a disproportionate amount of effort is not expended on one of the above at the expense of the  other.   It's just my two cents worth.   
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 10 Mar 2009, 19:51
I think to begin with, it would help to have all of the newest version of each background joined together and with workable regions/walk areas. I can imagine as the games go on and backgrounds are added/redrawn, this can be updated to reflect this, and act as a kind of 'current state of the town'. Plus this might help with actually mapping out the town, something that could be very useful in terms of 'what areas haven't been explored yet'.

Just thinking small with this idea at the moment, but the idea of an interactive tour is good. I'm seeing it in terms of containing more or less basic information, which will then in turn send people to something like the wiki.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: RickJ on 10 Mar 2009, 22:37
[qoute]
Just thinking small with this idea at the moment, but the idea of an interactive tour is good. I'm seeing it in terms of containing more or less basic information, which will then in turn send people to something like the wiki.
[/quote]
Hehe, I was worried that perhaps you were thinking of something way more involved and I suggested the tour thing as a means of simplification.   So in fact I ended up suggesting something more in volve than was planed.    Go figure??  :=

Anyway, thinking further about a tour, perhaps it could be coded generically and be driven by one or more text files?   Then as things are added only the text file need be updated; except of course if characters or backgrounds are added then those elements would need to be imported.   

Now for the Wiki; Will there be a search or index function as in the AGS help file?  If the a compendium was in the form of a CHM file then maybe an editor plugin could be written that would allow the AGS editor to open this file from the AGS help menu.  Wouldn't that be cool?
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 10 Mar 2009, 23:07
Quote
Anyway, thinking further about a tour, perhaps it could be coded generically and be driven by one or more text files?   Then as things are added only the text file need be updated; except of course if characters or backgrounds are added then those elements would need to be imported.

There's a thought. Here's a rough idea of the processes I'm going through with this:

- Step 1: Import backgrounds, making sure to pick the most recent.
- Step 2: Connect each background to each other in a logical way, utilising a 'hub map screen' where appropriate - possibly a newly designed one, based on Dylan Downing's 2005 plan.
- Step 3: Add dialogue detailing location's backstory.
- Step 4: Import characters, again the most recently designed.
- Step 5: Add dialogue detailing their backstory.
- Step 6: Script and design cutscenes of key events from past games, triggered by discussions with characters/examining items or locations.
- Step 7: ????
- Step 8: PROFIT.

So, in summary: Step 1-3 will make an interactive map with all possible locations and how they relate to each other, along with giving people ideas on the latest versions.  Step 4-5 will add into it a layman's FAQ on characters and their backstory and personality, and 6 will form as a visual recap. 7-8 will be the delicious win that ensues from all of the above. Again, it will all be general stuff, but for those wanting specifics, they can go off and read on the wiki safe in the knowledge they have the basics bolted down.

Regarding the player character... well, since Max Griff was the narrator to the nameless protagnist in 'A Brief History of RON', how about here as well?
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: RickJ on 11 Mar 2009, 00:33
Cool.  Do you need any help coding the dialog stuff?  I could perhaps with some of that.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: Renegade Implementor on 11 Mar 2009, 02:39
If you're planning on a vast number of interconnecting location screens (much like a IF map), it would probably help to have some sort of fast travel button to go back to a 'hub map screen' (unless you can set the player walking speed to very zippy).

A 'hub map screen' would be (to me at any rate) an easier route, although there's an issue of size of map/number limit of hotspots.  Unless you could segment the map into sections.  Then there's the outside of town to consider (relatively unexplored as it is).

As for player character, I'd suggest using a simple voice-over or a nondescript character.  This way you could structure this as either a historical/information piece or a recon file for a force planning invasion or some such.

As for the wiki, you'd have to check with James.  We're still sorting things out from the move.

Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 12 Mar 2009, 00:09
RickJ - Coding the dialogue would be a big help. Could also need someone to help me write it too. Interested?

I like the idea of a new 'hubscreen'. Dividing it into areas such as the Town Square, downtown area, residential block, Reality Hills, the university and so on would go a long way to intoducing a consistent sense of geography.

Im thinking it should be based in part on the 2005 map screen, maybe colour shaded to distinguish the different 'zones'.

Edit - JUST HAD A THOUGHT. How about making it a playable map, ala the Ankh Morpork Mapscreen from Discworld? Easiest way to have groups of areas and individual locations without bluring the two.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: RickJ on 12 Mar 2009, 03:20
Quote
RickJ - Coding the dialogue would be a big help. Could also need someone to help me write it too. Interested?
I would be happy to code a dialog system for this.  I don't know enough about the RON storyboard to write it though.  I would be willing to help with the writing if you or some one else can furnish the details.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 16 Mar 2009, 05:12
Progress on this is being made - right now, there's about 20-25 rooms with walkareas, behinds and hotspots/edges taking to different rooms done. I'm focusing on the town square right now, but Im stockpiling backgrounds for the other areas too.

As I'm doing this, there are a number of areas that have clearly gone unnoticed and unrefined over the years, but I still plan on including anyway - ones like the lobby/first floor for the red apt. One of the consequences of this project I'm hoping for is that people can either look at a background and redesign it, which will then be included in a future build, or failing that they design a completly new location similar to the background contests we had a while back, which will also get included in a future build. This way, people don't necessarily have to make a game to get their background added to the roster - something that will help the town evolve even if there's no new recent games.

Would there be any objectings to posting of some of the areas that need serious tweaking with the aim of someone else editing them?
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: Huw Dawson on 17 Mar 2009, 10:12
Mapscreen from Discworld? Easiest way to have groups of areas and individual locations without bluring the two.

 In essence, that would entail a screen that has a map on, at a slight angle so you can get perspective. Then, you have a bunch of areas that can be gone to on this map. The critical difference between the Discworld map and normal maps is the fact that Rincewind walked between locations on this map, walking down streets, over bridges - his brightly coloured clothes helped him stick out despite being about 3 pixels tall. ;)

 This is a very good idea, in short. Especially because by wandering around you might activate new areas, trigger cutscenes, and so on. Not to mention chase scenes.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 17 Mar 2009, 16:16
Like FoA, I'm assuming :D

I'm using Renegade Implementor's 2005 map for helping me with locations, and it's this same map (with a little tweaking) that could function as a mapscreen. Will post it tonight.

EDIT - a like so.

(http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l243/Dark_Comet/ri-townmap.gif)

EDIT x 2 - because Renegade Implementor is a totally hoopy frood.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: Renegade Implementor on 18 Mar 2009, 19:46
Just looking at the map again, it certainly shows just how much empty space the town has - lots of empty lots to put new buildings/businesses.

DC, check your email, I just sent off a few new backgrounds.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 18 Mar 2009, 19:57
Sir, you really are a marvel. I don't say it enough. :D
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: magintz on 20 Mar 2009, 17:22
So if people want to add or edit this will they have to apply for planning permission from the RoN boards here :)
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 20 Mar 2009, 18:46
Yes. We require forms filled out in triplicate using a number two pencil, with double spacing, referencing and a bibliography of your favourite shapes of fruit. Upon submission they will be scrutinised, shredded and rolled into delicious hemp cigarettes to prevent I and the admins from losing what has affectionatly been termed 'the crazy'.

but seriously, planning permission? Hell no. Don't think you need anyone's say so to come up with new stuff or edit what's already here. The idea of having a 'core committee' to control the output of games was one that was almost universally shouted down as it goes against the whole spirit of this little endeavour. So don't think you can't add/modify anything out of fear for treading on someone else's toes. Having said that, if you have an idea and want some feedback from the boards, then you're more than welcome to post it.

With regards to the map and new locations, I would follow the same rules as coming up with a character - try to do stuff that's new and couldn't already be used elsewhere. For example, there isn't a comic book/game shop in the town yet, so if you wanted to do that then go for it. On the other hand, there's already a private detective agency (Max Griff's, in the town square office building), so it dilute the range of locations if another was to be created.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: Sporkaganza on 12 Apr 2009, 22:11
So has the consensus here been to do an intro game? Because actually I'm interested in the other two options. A text-based intro would be nice because it'd be easier to make and it would allow the people who'd just like a quick look to skim a little and people who might want a bit more of an in-depth introduction to read the whole thing. And a movie-based intro would be a bit harder to make, but wouldn't require the "audience", as it were, to do a whole lot. Although a game intro does sort of tie in with the point of it all as an adventure-game... thingy... Hmm.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 12 Apr 2009, 22:38
Right now, I'm 45 odd rooms into the primer. Speaking as a fan, it's very satisfying to see all the backgrounds from various games all assembled into one coherent whole.

Having said that, I don't think there are any objections to other folks trying their hand at a text based intro, for example continuing A Brief History of Reality (although it would be kosher to seek Creed Malay's permission first, since he started it).

BTW, Einoo, interested in lending a hand with anything you've seen so far? I'm pretty sure as a RON alumni you'd bring a lot of awesomesauce to the proceedings.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: Sporkaganza on 15 Apr 2009, 03:17
Well, thanks... I consider myself more of a hanger-on than an alumnus, but I guess that's kind of missing the "everyone gets a shot" point of RON.

I could help write some of the dialogue/displayed text, if you'd like. People say I'm good at that stuff... and what the hell, I think so too ;)
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 15 Apr 2009, 18:37
Heh, that sounds promising enough  8). We need to experiment with how it's going to be presented, but I think it would be a good idea to have some room's text done in preparation. Plus it would give us something to muck about with when we do the tests.

Alrighty. Take a room like Scid's, for example. What information would be necessary for those who have never seen the place in game or no little nothing about it? Characters most associated with it? Significant events? Changes over time?
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: Sporkaganza on 18 Apr 2009, 23:09
Should I make a little Word file as a demo, or maybe even a simple little thing in AGS, just showing some sample room text that could serve as background information?
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 19 Apr 2009, 01:25
Word or even Notepad should work fine. Either of those will make it easier to drop the text into what's been compiled thus far. If you need the most recent versions of the backgrounds you plan to base them on, I'm happy to post here/send them to you.

Also, status update - 70 odd rooms and a new mapscreen in progress. This things is most definatly taking shape.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: magintz on 15 May 2009, 17:40
I'm sure it has been posted somewhere before but I went to see Dave Gilbert in NY last year at the Pecha Kucha game night and he gave a presentation on Reality on the Norm. It was a fun presentation that I think would be helpful to all who plan on making a RotN game as it is almost like a complete overview of the RotN universe and how it got started.

A Brief History of Reality on the Norm - By Dave Gilbert (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgW8buwFajM&feature=player_embedded) (YouTube Link - 6:45)
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: DeviantGent on 15 May 2009, 18:01
You went to see it? Sweet! Yeah, been posted before, but in a way it was one of the most biggest things recently to kickstart the whole reinterest in RON, so nothing but good can come from giving it as much exposure as possible. I'm thinking it might be a very good thing to have it embedded on the site somewhere.

I'm doing some work on VR tonight, I plan to link up as many of the rooms that RI has put into the build as possible. A quick question - would people be interested in seeing 'rough cuts' of it as more is added, or would it be better to wait until it's as complete as possible first (backgrounds, people AND dialogue)?
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: Hudders on 15 May 2009, 23:22
Sounds like it would be good to get community input on it as it's developed.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: lostbuthappy on 16 May 2009, 01:48
Regular updates of your progress would be neat,
plus it would help RON looking less dead.
Title: Re: Project - Recap
Post by: Dave Gilbert on 17 May 2009, 01:47
I'm sure it has been posted somewhere before but I went to see Dave Gilbert in NY last year at the Pecha Kucha game night and he gave a presentation on Reality on the Norm. It was a fun presentation that I think would be helpful to all who plan on making a RotN game as it is almost like a complete overview of the RotN universe and how it got started.

A Brief History of Reality on the Norm - By Dave Gilbert (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgW8buwFajM&feature=player_embedded) (YouTube Link - 6:45)

Hah.  I was so stupid unprepared for that speech, but still it was cool having you there Magintz.